GreenGeeks is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, in the United States. It was founded by Trey Gardner in 2008. Since then, it has grown into a stable, socially-conscious web hosting provider, currently hosting upwards of 600,000 websites on its servers.
As the name implies, GreenGeeks aims to be a green or environmentally-friendly web host. It is on a mission to be the most environmentally responsible web hosting company in the world and to push its rivals in that direction.
But that is not all there is to GreenGeeks. As a web host, it is feature-rich and offers a lot of free and unlimited packages. We will take an in-depth look at its plans and accompanying features and performances. But first, a quick review.
- Good uptime
- Decent response and page loading times
- Customer service with phone support and 24/7 live chat
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Daily backups
- Free domain for the first year
- Free website migration for one website
- Unmetered storage and bandwidth
- Free SSL certificate
- cPanel and Softaculous available
- Free drag and drop builder
- Shared, WordPress, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting
- Green hosting
You can tell from its name that GreenGeeks takes social responsibility very seriously. It markets as an environmentally-friendly web host, and that is not just a gimmick.
Most people have no idea how the internet, and the web hosting industry in particular, negatively impact the environment. Well, it is quite significant, believe me. At WebHost Bros, we love companies that make efforts to mitigate these impacts.
GreenGeeks has been around since 2008. Its founder and CEO, Trey Gardner, has some serious experience in web hosting going back to 1999. He has previously worked in several web hosting companies such as Hostpapa, iPage, Globat, and StartLogic.
When it comes to the different types of hosting, GreenGeeks has its fingers in most pies. It offers customers shared hosting, WordPress, VPS hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated servers. At the moment, it does not offer any cloud hosting plans.
Shared hosting is the entry-level of web hosting. It is suitable for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses seeking an internet presence. Shared hosting involves multiple websites sharing a single server and the server’s resources between themselves.
The resources are allotted based on the shared hosting plan. It is the least powerful form of web hosting and hence the least expensive.
GreenGeeks has its shared hosting plans in three categories. Each of these plans has some features and in common between them. Whatever plan you choose, you will get to enjoy unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage, free email accounts, and unlimited MySQL databases. You also get unlimited subdomains and parked domains, CDN, a free SSL certificate, and a free website transfer.
The Lite plan is the most basic plan. It starts at $2.49/mo. It only allows customers to host a single website, but as I previously stated, there’s loads of unlimited stuff going on. The Pro plan is next, and GreenGeeks recommends this shared plan. It ups the ante, allowing you to host an unlimited number of websites. It promises 2x more performance and starts at $4.95/mo.
The final shared hosting plan is the Premium, and this plan is perfect for busy websites or online stores.’ Like the Pro plan, subscribers will get to host an unlimited number of websites. Performance is 4x that of the Lite plan. The Premium plan starts from $8.95/mo.
When a website has scaled up to the point that it begins to accept a large number of visitors monthly, hosting on a shared server becomes a problem. That is because the resources it is allocated can no longer manage the spike in traffic that the website experiences.
Enter VPS hosting. This is a step up from shared hosting. Here, websites are assigned their own virtual servers, along with resources that the owners can manage and control on their own. This eliminates a lot of problems. Sure, the multiple virtual servers (and websites) still exist on a physical server, but there is significantly less sharing.
GreenGeeks has three fully managed VPS packages. That means that they handle the heavy lifting behind the scenes for you. The VPS plans start at $39.95/mo.
If your website traffic runs into the hundreds of thousands or millions, you’re probably going to want it to have its own dedicated server. That way, the site will not have to share any resources with other websites. In addition, you get total control over the control of the server, together with its customization. As you can imagine, dedicated hosting does not come cheap.
You can pick between four dedicated hosting plans on GreenGeeks. The entry-level plan, aptly called Entry Server, starts at $169/mo. The Pro server, on the other hand, starts at $439/mo.
We got a simple website hosted on one of GreenGeek’s shared hosting plans. We ran a variety of tests on this website over a period of a few months, and we are glad to say that there is a lot going on for this web host.
1. Solid Uptime
Everybody knows how important having a strong uptime is for a website. If you don’t, trust me, it is VERY important. If your website is down a lot, you are definitely going to be losing a lot of visitors.
Downtimes can very costly to your bottom line and reputation. But that’s not all. They also have a negative impact on your website’s visibility on the internet.
We monitored our test website’s uptime using the Uptime Robot tool. Over a period of 3 months, the website returned an uptime of 99.96%.
This is a solid result. Good even. It is not the best we have seen, and over the same period, SiteGround had an uptime significantly closer to 100%. But it is certainly higher than the average.
What’s more, GreenGeeks offers an uptime guarantee of 99.9% for customer satisfaction. That means that if your website falls below that percentage, you will be offered compensation.
It must be noted that there are a couple of caveats attached. GreenGeeks does not consider downtimes caused by the website owner for compensation. Planned maintenance also does not apply.
2. Good Speed Performance
Another metric that we considered essential and tested extensively was the speed. Over the period of three months, we tested our guinea pig site using the Pingdom tool. We found that the page loading time fluctuated from time to time, but overall, it trended towards fast speeds.
We calculated the average over that time and got back a result of 424ms. That is certainly better than the average, and you will likely not have much to worry about when it comes to speed.
That is a relief because the page loading times of a website are just as important as its uptime. In 2021, internet visitors are impatient and will leave likely your website it if takes more than a few seconds to load.
3. Green Hosting
As I mentioned earlier, we love green hosting over here at WebHost Bros, and we are certainly impressed by the actions GreenGeeks is taking in that direction.
The internet is run on servers, and you would not believe all the energy and resources that are required to maintain them. Overall, they have a very significant impact on the environment. Negatively.
But GreenGeeks has something to say and do about that. It is at the forefront of a campaign to drastically minimize the carbon footprint that web host companies leave. And so it goes beyond the regular carbon-neutral efforts of many other hosts.
Instead, GreenGeeks is committed to offsetting the carbon footprint by a factor of three! That’s 300%! That means that for all the energy expended in running its operation, it will purchase three times the wind energy credits.
GreenGeeks has won several awards for its efforts to mitigate the harmful effects of the internet on the environment. It is also officially a partner with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
4. Unlimited Hosting and Lots of Freebies
Green hosting is all well and nice and will certainly have you feel good for contributing your part to the environment. But in the end, what matters when choosing or retaining a web host is performance… and features.
GreenGeeks tries to ensure that it will keep you a customer with the good value it offers for your money. On all of the shared hosting plans, you get unlimited bandwidth, unlimited SSD disk space, unlimited sub and parked domains, and emails. Yes, even on the entry-level Lite plan.
True, they are not really unlimited in practice, but it is nice to have anyway. This is in contrast to a lot of other web hosting providers that place frankly disappointing caps on server resources for their smaller plans.
In addition, GreenGeeks throws in quite a few extras. You get backups for your website every day, for example. It must be noted that you only get one restore for your website for free a month. For more, you will be required to pay $25.
If you are moving to GreenGeeks from another web hosting company, your website will be migrated for free. This freebie only applies to one website. There are also free extra features like the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, Cloudflare CDN, and a free domain name for one year.
5. Helpful Customer Service
GreenGeeks has a stocked knowledge base with loads of helpful articles, tutorials, and walk-throughs. They provide the answers to most of the questions you may have concerning GreenGeek’s service and offers.
Be that as it may, there may be times that you will need to contact a human representative to help resolve issues or answer the tough questions. In that situation, you can reach GreenGeek’s customer support through email or live chat.
These avenues are available 24/7/365 around the clock. Unfortunately, phone support can only be reached at certain hours. But who still needs to call a rep in 2021 any way?
The customer service staff are apparently well trained and try to handle any potential issues promptly and effectively.
6. User-Friendly Interface
GreenGeeks uses the cPanel, which is the industry-standard dashboard. It is used by a significant number of web hosting companies, so chances are that if you are moving to GreenGeeks, your current web host may have used that. In that case, adaptation will be a piece of cake.
The cPanel, and GreenGeeks’s interface in total, also presents a gentle learning curve to newbies or beginners. It is easy to use and intuitive, and beginners will not find navigation and functionality a Herculean task. There is a drag-and-drop website builder tool that allows even the greenest horns to build websites by themselves.
Softaculous allows users to install tons of 3rd party apps for your websites, such as Magneto, Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, and Shopify. It is quick and easy, and you don’t need to learn a single line of code to use.
If you have been following so far, you will have seen that GreenGeeks is a pretty decent option, with loads of features and nice performances. But that does not mean that it has no drawbacks. Here are a few things to note before making a decision on this company:
1. No 24/7 Phone Support
We’ve mentioned that GreenGeek’s customer service is quality. It has a Live Chat and email available 24/7 for customers around the world to contact and receive support.
But some customers prefer to call customer support instead of chatting or emailing, and this option is not available around the clock. The phone lines are only available from 9 AM to 12 AM EST.
Sure, that’s 21 whole hours. But that short 3-hour window may prove an inconvenience to overseas customers who prefer to speak to a representative.
2. Low Prices Are Only for Long-Term Subscriptions
The low prices on the array on the GreenGeeks website are dangled as bait for potential new customers. It may be shocking to realize that for you to take advantage of them, you must be ready to commit to a long-term plan as opposed to a shorter-term plan such as a monthly subscription.
Take the Lite shared plan, for example. This plan starts at $2.49/mo. But for you to pay so low, you must commit to a 36-month subscription period. If you prefer to pay for each individual month, you will be forced to cough up $10.95/mo.
3. No Cloud Hosting
GreenGeeks has never offered cloud hosting services. This is a bit of a surprise, considering that it is a Green hosting provider.
Apart from the numerous benefits of cloud hosting, such as flexibility, scalability, and increased performances and uptimes, cloud hosting helps to significantly decrease the overall impact of web hosting. Cloud hosting minimizes idle time and saves energy for servers. It significantly reduces carbon emissions.
Hopefully, GreenGeeks will be considering that option in the near future.
So, do we recommend GreenGeeks as a web hosting solution? We certainly do. It is actively committed to helping reverse the negative impact that the web hosting industry has on the environment. And for that, it gets a lot of applause from us.
But it is more than just that. GreenGeeks is not sloppy when it comes to performances. It offers good uptime and speeds, so you can be sure that your website will not suffer on the basis of these metrics.
It also comes offers a lot of extra features for free. This, you will certainly find useful, especially if you are on a budget.
But you must also consider the few drawbacks. There is no cloud hosting, so GreenGeeks is not the solution you are looking for if you prefer that form of web hosting. Customer support via email and live chat is available 24/7, but phone support is not. Finally, you will be required to cough up significantly more than the price that it markets if you prefer to pay for a short-term plan.